During World War II, the airport was known as Yunnani (Siangyun) Airfield and was used by the United States Army Air ForcesFourteenth Air Force as part of the China Defensive Campaign beginning in September 1944. The airfield was primarily used by transport (C-46 Commando, C-47 Skytrain) squadrons arriving from India after flying over "the Hump". The transport aircraft unloaded supplies and equipment for the Chinese forces, primarily being food and ammunition. In addition, USAAF F-4 (P-38 Lightning) aircraft flew combat reconnaissance missions over Japanese-held areas from the airport in late 1944 and early 1945. The Americans closed their facilities at the airport in July 1945.